November 11, 2020 8:36 AM EST

In the summer of 1984, when Michelle Bowdler was a 24-year-old living in Boston, two men broke into her apartment and raped her. Bowdler did what the justice system asked of her: She completed a rape kit and was interviewed by the police, whom she never heard from again. Hers would not be one of the mere 2% of reported rapes in the United States that result in conviction or incarceration. In her stellar, unsettling book, Bowdler, now a public health executive, seeks answers—about why her own case disappeared, but also why America seems so comfortable continuously, systemically failing survivors.

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